Tuesday, January 17, 2023


Sustainable innovation management doesn't happen by chance. It requires strategy, focus, energy, effort and leadership practices to put in the time and commit to achievement.

The art of innovation management is to spur creativity for unleashing collective human or business potential. The science of innovation management is to make things predictable, process reliable, and procedure under-control in order to achieve high performance results quantitatively and qualitatively.

 Innovative implementation has advanced many, but if something is missing, stagnation and frustration will surface. Barriers can be daunting, yet overcome. Innovation should eventually result in business benefits, be it tangible or intangible.

Lack of commitment to the involvement of all stakeholders cross silos; fail to introduce the cultural change: Innovation is the most desired change. People that don't know about the organization's goals will not be able to participate in giving focused ideas and creating innovation. Sometimes people are not part of change because they feel like they don’t need any change, and even the ones who recognize the importance or urgency of change, do not understand their own role. Silos, rigidity, inflexibility, bureaucracy, etc, create gaps and cause confusions. When a company fails to manage innovation effectively, the top management needs to take responsibility because their planning to reach the vision, attitude, methods or practices to the clearly-defined goals are not on the right track.

The biggest challenge in building innovation competency is the in-depth understanding of what it means to innovate and then mechanisms for enabling innovation across the organization. Without true understanding, there is no way to have strong discernment, it would enlarge gaps in innovation implementation. So the innovation management needs to check: Who are the best leaders within the organization to help carry out and manage innovation? Is the organizational culture open to change? What’s the impact and most importantly, emotions involved in a change process? Communication should involve operating focus, strategy for creating greater shareholder value and developing the long-term mission, vision and value statements.

Lack of commitment of resources and time to optimize business processes and build innovation competency: Innovation is not serendipity, but a process that can be managed. Besides talented people, well established rules and optimized processes are critical to achieve high innovation performance. Organizations should craft their management disciplines via adapting, optimizing, and improving the overall innovation competency.

If innovation is stifled and people are frustrated, the management needs to scrutinize: Are processes too rigid to adapt; too fragile to handle disruptions, or too inside-out without embracing people centricities? Are there any fundamentally different approaches to process management that would provide more flexibility, sensitivity, and responsiveness? How well organizations can take the step-wise approach to make the change, continual renewal, and innovation fluency, etc. Innovative organization has a loosely structured, circular process to develop innovation competency. Innovation processes need to become more dynamic and flexible, it's a matter of perspective from which angle of the process you are looking from, make things happen timely, from local to globe; from inside-out operation driven to outside in people centricity, improve business performance, and achieve the desired effect.

Lack of strong governance, risk intelligence to achieve innovation excellence:
Innovation governance activities include setting principle guidelines, grounding rules and policies, and helping to manage collaborative business results and best practices to improve innovation effectiveness. The problem is, governance is almost always associated with compliance and control. Either over control or under control would make innovation management vulnerable; the desire for proactive change and radical innovation will make governance issues more “loose control,” and cross-disciplinary.

The important element is that the management never assumes all employees in an organization can innovate to the same level; different teams or departments also have different levels of innovation capacity. Thus, it’s important to have a certain level of analytics capabilities in governance discipline to handle ad-hoc and exceptional matters smoothly and it ‘knows’ enough to be able to deal with failures effectively. Developing an intelligent governance process is about design and construction with built in checks, rules, feedback to improve innovation management; The set of standards or guidelines based on solid governance principles, like landscaping, can ensure innovation blossoms.

Innovative organizations have deployed a range of different management approaches, technology, process, and structural solutions. Sustainable innovation management doesn't happen by chance. It requires strategy, focus, energy, effort and leadership practices to put in the time and commit to achievement. Innovation is a high mature differentiated business capability which needs to be built via strong disciplines, structure, processes and practices.


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